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Rabbi Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Allegations – QNS.com

Rabbi Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Allegations

A rabbi from Kew Gardens Hills has resigned from the rabbinical organization that was reportedly on the brink of casting him out because of long-standing sexual abuse allegations.
Rabbi Ephraim Bryks, who was first accused of abusing a Canadian boy in the 1980s, resigned last week as a member of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also agreed to leave Jewish teaching. Bryks co-founded the Yeshiva Berachel David in Kew Gardens Hills where he is presently an administrator.
"He wanted to make it very clear that his resignation should not be seen as an admission of guilt," Rabbi Hershel Billet, council president, told Newsday.
Bryks, 49, still denies allegations regarding Daniel Levin, a 16-year-old Canadian boy whom he is accused of abusing as a small child. Daniel was a congregant at the Winnipeg, Manitoba, synagogue where Bryks was rabbi and ran a Jewish day school beginning in 1978. The boy, who had been struggling with depression, committed suicide on Yom Kippur in 1993. Months earlier he had told his parents about being sexually molested by the rabbi.
Accusations by the Levin family are only some of several involving other children that have haunted Bryks since he left Winnipeg for the Torah Academy, a Kew Gardens yeshiva. The academya high school where he was administratorfired him in 1994 after hearing a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) news report that quoted a former student and two families who said their children had also been abused. Bryks would later sue CBC for the report, as well as Cable News Network, which ran the CBC report, but the cases were dismissed on technicalities.
After an extensive investigation, Manitoba authorities announced in 1995 that they would not prosecute Bryks. The child welfare authorities in Winnipeg did their own investigation at that time and found that there was no significant evidence.
No criminal charges have ever been filed against Bryks, who plans to continue life as a private citizen. But accusations made his career an arduous one, preventing his hiring by one congregation and drawing concern from colleagues. The Queens Va’ad Harabonim, an important council of Queens rabbis, has talked of removing him.
"A person shouldn’t have something like this hanging over his head," Manny Behar, executive director of the Queens Jewish Community Council, told Newsday."If it’s true, it should be verified true and then he probably shouldn’t be teaching in a school. If it’s not true, he deserves to have his good name restored."
Bryks was not reachable for comment by press time.

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